Story Behind The Story

Exclusive Ride-Along With Medic As They Respond To Fatal Shooting

Today was a day I won’t soon forget.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few days (nothing against you if you have been) you know there’s been a rash of shootings to happen in Columbus over the past several days and weeks. (It’s been absolutely ridiculous.)

We’ve done several stories on these shootings, so for a different angle I thought I’d see if I could spend the afternoon with a Medic with the Columbus Division of Fire. They’re the ones who are always among the first to a scene to take a person who has been injured to the hospital. Often times, you don’t see them in video we’ve shot because they’re in and out of a scene so quickly.  I thought this would make for a different perspective on a story that’s gotten bigger and bigger recently.

My photographer, Mark and I met up with a medic on the city’s east side. She’s been with the fire department for 28 years and has been a medic for 20. (You can imagine she’s seen a lot… a lot more than many of us would ever want to see.) We arrived at the station around 4 pm and shot an interview with her in one of the vehicle bays. I pretty much focused my questions on how they’ve responded to the rash of shootings and how they prepare. See, their battalion alone (there are seven battalions in Columbus) had responded to four shootings in just over a 24 hour period. (A fifth shooting was about to happen.) 

We shot the interview, got some video, shot some teases as well as a standup and we were looking good. 

One thing I was sure to ask her when we got started was if we could go on a ride-along with her in the event something (such as a shooting) were to happen. She checked with her boss and we got the green light. (Not that were actually thinking a shooting would occur in that neck of the woods in the time we would be there.)

We were wrong.

Though Mark and I had our story shot, we decided to hang around the fire station in case something happened. We had some good, strong coffee, shot the breeze with some firefighters and watched some TV with them. Overall, tthe radios were rather quiet.

Then it happened.

Around 6:15pm, the medic we were with was called to a shooting just a mile or so away. We quickly grabbed our camera gear (Mark was shooting the whole time) jumped into her SUV and sped down the road. (I don’t care what anyone says, riding along with an official while their siren is blaring and they’re weaving in and out of traffic is an adrenaline rush)

Within a matter of minutes, we arrived at the scene. (The medic we were with was the first to arrive) Since we were granted the access, Mark followed the medic to the person who was lying on the ground. Sadly, the person who was shot was a 16-year-old boy. He’d been shot in the back. He was taken to Children’s Hospital where we later learned he had died. (This is where the adrenaline rush quickly diminished at the fact a boy who was so young had died.) While we always love getting a scoop on a story, sometimes we lose grasp of the fact we’re talking about real people and real lives here. The image of the boy being put onto a stretcher and loaded into a medic isn’t something I will soon forget.

Once another medic took the child away we shot another (and shorter) interview with the medic about what had just happened.

From there, that was pretty much it.

When it boils down to it, our story on this shooting is going to give our viewers a perspective that they’ll see no where else.  And as it turned out, I saw a perspective that our rescue workers see on a daily basis; a perspective that isn’t easy to swallow.

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 07/21 at 08:16 PM

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